The farmer, Per Hedlund, was working inside his farmhouse in Ockelbo, just over 200 kilometres north of Stockholm, when the lightning struck a pole on his farm.
“I was inside a building 150 metres away. I heard a crash and saw a flash of light. It came as such a surprise that I didn’t have time to think,” Hedlund told the Expressen newspaper.
The electric bolt came on Thursday afternoon and immediately killed five of the farmer’s cows and three calves which were standing beneath the pole.
“Everything went so fast, it’s not until afterwards that you get upset,” the farmer said.
Hedlund, who owns 50 head of cattle, is now seeking compensation from the Swedish Transport Authority (Trafikverket) for the substantial cut to his herd, according to Expressen.
“The cows are very valuable. On top of this, there will be quite a big drop in production,” he said.
Thursday saw violent weather across much of Sweden, with 4,000 flashes of lightning recorded nationwide.
The thunderous weather, which was particularly concentrated in the west of the Gävleborg region, will continue into this week according to metrological agency SMHI, which has issued class 1 warnings for area.
A class 3 warning is the least serious on SMHI’s three-level scale.